Despite a tumultuous week for Cleveland’s Johnny Manziel, the troubled quarterback is back in the spotlight after Josh McCown suffered an apparent shoulder injury during Cleveland’s loss to the St. Louis Rams today, 24-6.
As reported by FOX 8 Cleveland, Manziel came into the game late in the fourth quarter after McCown went down. The seriousness of the injury wasn’t known at the time, but McCown “walked into the locker room on his own” according to the report. He also appeared at the podium under his own power after the game, dismissing the notion he suffered any kind of concussion.
#Browns McCown getting to ready to talk at podium which means no concern at this point that he has a concussion. Not checked during game
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) October 25, 2015
This isn’t the first time Johnny Manziel has been called into action after a McCown injury. In the first game of the season McCown was injured against the New York Jets when he dove head first into the end zone. The result of the play was a concussion that sidelined Josh for two games, offering Manziel the opportunity to play.
As reported by Inquistr, Johnny Manziel came in and immediately connected with Travis Benjamin for his first career touchdown pass. He then went on to lead the Browns to their first victory of the year in Week 2 before being demoted yet again in Week 3 when McCown returned from injury.
And, as reported by CBS Sports, the demotion to backup QB is what lead to Manziel’s most recent off-the-field incident.
“Concern began at that point that Manziel might not be as focused and diligent both at the team’s facility and in his free time, and during the past two weeks there were small signs that he was not quite as dedicated to his craft, sources said, as it became apparent that he was going to be in a backup role for the foreseeable future.”
Manziel was questioned by police last week after a heated argument with his girlfriend, Colleen Crowley. He also admitted to have been drinking earlier in the day.
Manziel famously checked himself into rehab after the conclusion of his rookie season. The admission that he potentially relapsed has become a “major point of concern” within the Browns organization. Again, all signs pointed to his demotion from starter as to what lead to this most recent behavior shift.
“This kid is such a competitor and he got a taste for it and made some plays and started a game and I think he thought he got the job back,” said one team source. “So you had a bad feeling something might be coming and he might slip. I’m not sure he’s wired to be a backup and he had really won people over, but I can’t say it’s a surprise that something like this happened after he ended up back on the bench.”
Despite all this off-the-field turmoil however, Manziel could now be the starter yet again if McCown can’t go next week. Will that help fix his troubles or simply lead to more down the road? He was unable to reach the end zone in the Browns’ loss Sunday to the Rams, but might get a lot of support from his teammates to be named starter after McCown’s dismal, two fumble performance.
However, not everyone is as eager to see the Browns make the switch back to Johny Football. Frequent nemesis Colin Cowherd recently appeared on FOX’s Kilmeade and Friends, saying it’s time for the Browns to simply cut ties with Johnny Manziel.
“I never liked Johnny Manziel’s maturity level, he can be petulant and spoiled. I don’t like his temperament. I think he is too showy. I would have never drafted him. At this point, I think you cut ties, you say ‘Johnny, you are not a fit for this organization’ and for the record, Cleveland is not a flashy town.”
[Photo by Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images]